Novgorod means “new town” but it is one of the oldest Russian cities. It was founded in 859. In 862 the Varangian Prince Rurik came here with a bunch of Varangian Norsemen to establish the first Russian state. Thus, Russian history began here.

Central square.

Year of foundation.

The main place of interest is the magnificent Kremlin overlooking the Volkhov River. The brick walls which still stand today date back to the 14th century.

Kremlin wall.

Old masonry and brickwork.

The city’s most famous sites are inside the Kremlin walls. The Cathedral of St. Sophia was built in 1045-52. It is the oldest stone cathedral in Russia. Inside the Cathedral visitors can see the 14th century Our Lady of the Sign wonder-working icon.

St. Sofia Cathedral.

The west 12th century doors feature small-size biblical scenes.

In the Kremlin there are other beautiful buildings as well as Novgorod’s most noticeable landmark - the Millennium of Russia Monument unveiled here in 1862. The monument depicts 127 figures of Russian rulers, statesmen, artists, writers, scholars who contributed greatly to their country’s fame and glory over the last millennium.

Millennium of Russia Monument.

The Varangian Prince Rurik (in the center) and Prince Vladimir (with a cross) who introduced Christianity in 988.

Prince Dmitry Donskoy trampling a Mongol.

Russian tsars: Alexander I (stands) and Nicholas I (seated).

Young Mikhail Romanov is being elected Tsar.

Catherine II with her lovers.

Novgorod is packed with other old churches.

The world famous composer and pianist Sergey Rakhmaninov was born in Novgorod Oblast in 1873.

Floating restaurant.

Babushka playing an accordion.

War memorial.


Yuriev monastery.

The Yuriev Monastery founded in the early 12th century is located in the southern outskirts of Novgorod and functions as a working Orthodox monastery. The monastery represents a magnificent view in combination with the surrounding landscape.

Attached to the monks’ dorms is the 1761 Church of Exaltation of the Cross.

The Cathedral of St. George was built in 1119. It seems to be carved out of one large white rock.


The Valdai Monastery is located on a small island in Lake Valdai. The lake is right on the way from Novgorod to Moscow. The monastery is a unique piece of Russian architecture, center of wood and stone carving.


The world famous Russian writer Dostoevsky lived in this quiet town for quite a time and wrote his The Brothers Karamazovs here. Dostoevsky’s house is now a museum that contains a lot of authentic things which once belonged to Dostoevsky and his family.

Staraya Russa was the setting for The Brothers Karamazovs. Tourist can visit the churches the characters frequented.

Staraya Russa has been a spa resort since 1828. Those who cannot afford a trip to Karlovy Vary or Baden-Baden treated themselves to medicinal waters here.

Drinking gallery.

Mud baths.